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Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 16559
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
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I have some questions regarding my W-4 status change. I am

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I have some questions regarding my W-4 status change.
I am currently in OPT (F1 visa). I am paying a portion of 26.8% of my gross income. I just got married. My wife is traveling in the U.S. (B2 visa) and going back to my home country. So I am curious that can I update my status from single to married and benefit from the tax deduction? If so, to what portion can I reduce? The tricky part is that my wife is not going to stay in the US in status F2. She is going back to my home country, but she is not working (no income).

Megan C :

Hello! I am a CPA here to assist you with your tax questions. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Megan C :

How are you today?

Megan C :

Yes, you can do your withholding as married. You are married, and you can elect to treat your spouse as a US resident for tax purposes even if she's not living here. You make the election by filing that way.

Customer:

Hi, thanks. But my wife is not in F2 visa. She is in B2 (traveling in the U.S., and will going back to my home country very soon). What is "elect to treat your spouse as a US resident for tax purposes" mean? Does she need to change to F2 visa?

Customer:

If I change my status in W4 form, can I get the tax deduction immediately? Or do I need to wait until next year and request for tax return?

Megan C :

Your wife does not need to change any of her immigration status. Your immigration status has nothing to do with your tax status. If you are filing taxes as a US resident, you can file married with your wife even if she's not a US resident. If she has no income, it might make sense because you will get a tax deduction for her.

Megan C :

And when you use W-4 to claim the benefit, your withholding will be lower so you will keep more of your money - so the tax break is more immediate.

Customer:

Thanks. But I am not filing taxes as a US resident, I am in student visa F-1 (OPT).

Customer:

Will this make any difference?

Megan C :

Yes, it will make a difference because you are filing tax as a non resident alien.

Customer:

So what would be my situation?

Megan C :

You can file as married, and still get the benefit of filing married since your wife has no income. You can get her exemption.

Customer:

Thanks. Even if my wife is not living in the U.S., right? Do I need to provide doc that proving my wife has no income? What portion of deduction can I benefit? I am currently paying arount 27%

Customer:

around

Megan C :

You would get her personal exemption which is $3,900 ...you don't pay tax on $3900 of income

Megan C :

You don't have to provide documentation that your wife has no income.

Customer:

Thank you very much. If my wife living in the U.S (in F2 visa), will I get more deduction? Or $3,900 is fixed? The reason I asked this is that one of my friend only paying 15% of his gross income with his wife living in the U.S. in F2 visa. So I am curious is my situation different from his?

Megan C :

No, you won't get more of a deduction if your wife lived in the US.

Megan C :

Your friend may be paying only 15% because his income is lower.

Customer:

If I do the calculation, I would save about $1000 dollars on my total income, and no more than that, right?

Megan C :

That would be correct.

Customer:

Thank you very much. I think I have all my questions answered. The total fee would be $30, right? What would be my next steps to complete the chat?

Megan C :

Your next step is to rate my response as "excellent" so that I may receive credit for assisting you today

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